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April 09, 2008



What is character "assignation"?

Obviously one of the dozen degrees or careers in his rather amazingly diverse and exciting life didn't involve essay writing.

Cyril R.

Kiashu, you have to excuse Kit P. He's a pathological idiot doing a bit of self-evaluation here.

It's best to just ignore him.

Kit P

Mike wrote
“To anyone who thinks they understand the carbon cycle: Please explain why we see a linear increase in atmospheric concentration despite rising emissions.”

I was hoping someone would provide a better answer than I can but it is a good question that deserves a answer.

While I understand the carbon and nitrogen cycles fairly well, there is huge uncertainty in the sources and sinks ghg are extremely complex. Sources such as coal plants are easy to accurately measure. The absolute value ghg from burning fuel is a small fraction of the total and less than the “uncertainty” of the predicted natural sources of ghg.

For example, methane naturally leaks coal bed formations. This ghg source can be tapped for a source of energy because CO2 has a much lower global warming potential than CH4.

So the best answer to Mike question is we do not know. Small changes in a huge world with many uncertainties are hard to identify.

George Bruce

Someone asked for evidence of a warm period in China that coincided with the MWP in Europe.

Here are some summaries of number of studies.


Benny Peak Demand Cole

George Bruce: Excellent post.
I venture the Global Warming issue will not be settled here.
As a nonscientist, I remain puzzled that small increases in CO2 from manmade sources (compared to natural sources) are putting the world at risk. I am also puzzled that the Halocene Maximum of 6,000 years ago, and then also a periof around 1000 AD appear to be warmer than now. And, there are creditable scientists who think Global Warming is a natural event, not manmade.

To top it off, another Ice Age is very possible.

I remain a committed environmentalist -- but I think I will concentrate my meager powers on other areas.


===I am also puzzled that the Halocene Maximum of 6,000 years ago, and then also a periof around 1000 AD appear to be warmer than now.===

Me, I am also puzzled when you have no global study to back that statement.

Certainly charts which look superficially correct, however they both end in the 1970s. Not "Now", As you keep implying.



Benny, it's like this. Think of the human body, which is something like 60% water, so a 160lb person is about 100lbs of water. It naturally has water in it, we let water out in sweat and urine, so we have to take water in to replace it.

If you take in too little water, you get dehydrated, you get woozy, your urine becomes painful as there's not enough water in it and it's acidic. After a bit longer you get nauseous and exhausted, and may eventually die. Now, the point of being woozy is when you've lost only 1 or 2% of your bodyweight in water, only a couple of pounds.

A couple of pounds of water compared to the 100lbs in your body doesn't seem like much, but the effect is has on you is very strong. That's because the body has a pretty delicate balance between too much and too little water, the amount of urine you put out and the amount of water you drink, and so on. That balance doesn't take much to upset. It takes a lot to _kill_ you, the loss of 10% of your bodyweight in water, but it doesn't take much to make you sick.

Humans actually change in their water percentage from birth to old age, babies are about 85%, adults 60-65%, and some obese people as little as 55%. But always the body tries to keep it balanced, at the same level; if you upset the balance, you get sick. And the natural change takes some years.

It's the same with the CO2 in the atmosphere. There's naturally a delicate balance in the amounts, and a change upsets the balance. There's a natural change, but it takes tens of thousands of years. We're making a change quite rapidly, in a hundred years or so. We're changing it faster than it can adapt.

Now, as I said, some change is natural and fine. But that doesn't mean it's not dangerous. Suppose you've a family history of heart disease, for you to get heart disease would be "natural". Does that mean you say, "screw it!" and go and eat ten burgers a day? Well, no. That there's some natural risk makes it more important for you to be careful with your health. Likewise, if there's a natural change in the climate, we have to be more careful with it than if it were naturally the same for billions of years.

It's like a balanced see-saw. If it's a big heavy one that never moves even in a wind, obviously it's hard to make it move, so you can bash it around a bit. But if it's a see-saw that at the slighest puff of wind starts moving, then obviously it's easy to make it move, and the slightest touch will put it off-balance.

Kit P

“It's the same with the CO2 in the atmosphere. There's naturally a delicate balance in the amounts, and a change upsets the balance. There's a natural change, but it takes tens of thousands of years. We're making a change quite rapidly, in a hundred years or so. We're changing it faster than it can adapt.”

Actually, the earth has a very stable climate. There is no delicate balance with respect to second order natural ghg such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. The concentration of ghg is not changing rapidly. Furthermore there is no indication that the earth's climate is changing at all presently.

However, there is a great deal of indication of the silliness of humans to detect a pattern and attribute a cause when that will lead to a crisis when no crisis. In the absence of crisis, journalist will manufacture one.

I looked at graph that showed the trend of energy in $/MMBTU that show coal was increasing slowly at about several pennies per year while the cost of natural gas and oil are 4 times higher and are very volatile. I heard on NPR how coal prices were shy rocketing.

It is normal to be fearful of an uncertain future. However, if you get your information sources that get the present wrong on a consistent basis; maybe some should be more skeptical about their predictions.


"Actually, the earth has a very stable climate. There is no delicate balance with respect to second order natural ghg such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide."

That must be why volcanic eruptions don't change the world's weather for years after they occur! Oh wait, I thought they do. But, I guess I'll trust you, Kit P. After all, you know what fugacity is.

Benny Peak Demand Cole

Well, like I said, it really doesn't matter what I say. My powers are extremely limited. I still try to be a good environmentalist in my little world, and do my part. I hope AGW is a scare, as China is certainly not going to scale back on anything...maybe we will cook....just buy land in Canada, you will do well....start growing grapes in New foundland....open up a shipping line through the Northwest Passage...


Be honest, no one knows. All this will pass at in a few years. Oh, but we should do what we can just in case it is true. Foolish. The earth will move through its course irrespective of what some tiny influence man may try. At least be honest with yourself, realize we are but a small speck on the surface of a huge rotating rock, and have no choice but to ride it. What you do makes no difference. Live, enjoy life, buy a SUV, burn some coal, it doesn’t matter in the least. I am an educated person who has read it all and tried to believe but the facts are not there. You know I am right.


Very nice Kit. A very impressive resume. I am very glad you know more about coffee than the average Mormon college girl. I am not sure what this has to do with anything but my first wife was an Mormon college girl, so I know the attraction. I was in Salt Lake two days ago and they seemed to have quite a few Starbucks so maybe they have learned something by now.

For the record I am not an economist. I have a degree in economics. I work in the power industry with experience in bio mass (wood), natural gas, coal (yes one of em in California) and solar. I never claim to be an expert on everything but do understand very well how power plants operate and how contracts are written.

I do see you are still sidestepping the question about where you live. I really don’t blame you for not wanting to say who you work for and I am pretty sure they are glad you don’t either. I do love how you love to twist the truth. If not for your obnoxious personality you would have made one hell of a politician. Your logic is just totally insane. What does California’s buying of out of State coal power have anything to do with California’s pollution? Yes they are shifting it out of the State but you original comment was something to the effect that California had a pollution problem but did not burn coal. You also stated that your State (the great mystery) burned coal but did not have pollution. I am guessing you don’t live in the Northeast. I feel my smoking analogy was pretty spot on. For the record California has banned the signing of new long term contracts to buy coal generated power. I have never advocated ( and you know this) the building of imported natural gas power plants but feel they are inevitable in the current environmental climate. If you were half as smart as you claimed, you would know that the utility does not always get the last say on they type of power they generate. If they did coal plants would be springing up everywhere.

Now Kit it has been a long time since I took a psychology class but maybe you should look up what it says about a person who has this need to always calls others names, has this need to always try an prove how smart he is and can’t stand any other opinion than his own. You told me to get used to you calling me an idiot. Well I guess you are going to have to get used to me calling you out, on your fact twisting claims. It is just too much fun. Really you are just a sad little person. I have worked with some pretty damn smart engineers in my time and have never seen one close to as insecure as you.

Cyril R.

JohnBo sounds like he has a degree in philosophy. What's next John? Ah yes, let me guess: the sun evolves around the earth. It has to be, it's the most ideal perfect constellation. And the orbits of the planets are perfectly round, as that is the most perfect shape. So that's how it has to be.

Unfortunately, the denialist discourse, just like philosophy, has no empirical basis. Science has replaced philosophy because it is less influenced by normative judgement. By using observation, it turned out the earth evolves around the sun, and the orbits of our planets are not perfectly round. Philosophy would never have led to the real truth. People like JohnBo will never know the truth because they just don't want to find it out.

Perhaps you are just scared of the facts and try to soothe your mind with lies. If you keep repeating it enough, you'll start believing it. Freud would have had something to say about it.

Or perhaps you are just stupid.

Kit P

JohnBo, I agree with most of your last post except this. “Be honest, no one knows.”

I know that the earth has a very stable climate. Simple observation. Stable system react to change by returning to normal without erratic swings. Bob provided an example although he may not know the difference between climate and weather, or the difference between warming and cooling.

Volcanic activity releases a variety of stuff with a variety of environmental impacts. The primary gas is huge amounts of CO2. This is a ghg Bob. However, the amount of ghg released by big bad volcanoes is tiny compared to bacteria.

The conventional wisdom said that huge ash plumes plumes caused short term global cooling. After the Mt. Saint Helen eruption the expected cooling did not occur. When the amount of SO2 was considered from various volcanoes with the aid of new satellites, there is a better correlation.

Engineers did not design the climate control system, nature did over million of years of evolution. Stable control systems react to change and reach a new equilibrium. Unstable systems have wild extremes.


I'm reading in the WSJ that coal prices are skyrocketing in Australia.
I'm wondering how much of that is a temporary spike, and how much of it's local. But spot prices of coal in the US do seem to be rising this year, with the higher BTU/ton coal rising faster
I don't think spot prices are average selling prices, but they might hint at future price increases.

Kit P

“Flooding at major mines in Australia since mid-January has dramatically stunted that major coal producer's exports to Asian markets.”

Clee, if you look at volume and price of low sulfur PRB coal and graph it in $/BTU you could see that the energy cost of coal is generated electricity is increasing slowly in the US. Note period in the winter of 2005 on the EIA graph where PRB coal spiked because of transportation problems.

So if you are buying American coal with US $ to make electricity is a good deal compared to imported LNG it is a good deal. When you look at running train loads of high sulfur CAP and NAP coal down to Norfolk and Baltimore, another good deal for American workers.

Alfredo Louro

To those who don't want to leave the discussion to the experts: How many of you know what the Stefan-Boltzmann equation is, and what bearing it has on the problem?

If you don't understand the physics, the discussion can only be political, and based on faith rather than understanding.

John Barnes

In Earth's 600 million year history, CO2 levels have only been as low as now, and the temperatures been as cool as now one other time - 300 million years ago. Se detailed chart at


seawater desalination

The article attempts to explain “why the climate is not highly sensitive to CO2 warming”. I have still to be sure that mankind has any important role in global warming;
But as the argument spread-out I realized Spencer was drawing on observations and measurements from the new Aqua satellites to explain the mechanism behind this difference between model forecasts and observation. You may have heard that the IPCC models cannot project clouds and rain with any truth.
However, there is a mechanism at work that "washes out" the water vapor and returns it to the oceans along with the extra CO2 and thus turns the added water vapors into a negative feedback mechanism.

M. Hay

Yssh...I got the science award in my gradeschool...but back then...they still taught us list the "evidence"...for and against!
Global warming is a rouse by the UN and one worlders (hold hands here) to get you to fork over billions (even though you don't know how you will feed and shoe your own kids) for their utopian global goals. Not on our watch I hope...

seasonal jobs

i do not agree. Global warming is definitely here. I believe in it.

apply for seasonal jobs


This post is April 2008, and IPCC was wrong is their assessment.

Presently how is there assessment going on?

Whether they are coming out with correct predictions?

Process Improvement

I might add that we should ditch a lot of the current technology that is at the root of our polluting the environment.......

Made in China

Made in China

Calvin R. Gray

It is so easy to get caught up in the rhetoric.

Yes, it is also factual that there are a lot of uncertainties regarding the magnitude and scope of climate change and indeed if it is not just climatic variations seeing that there is even inadequate data in certain instances to look at a complete cycle.

There is no need to hesitate, make use of all the current benefits. As a first approach educate yourself on all likely benefits that are out there consequent on the ePact Policy and its extensions.

Likewise do not hesitate to seek out and obtain a second opinion;that principle is not only pertinent in the medical domain. It is real, ever present and essential in the realm of Advanced Energy Innovations

Until all the facts are ascertained, really more like utopia, position yourself and your business to maximise all the benefits to be derived.

You should not be in the 98% of all registered tax payers who have not yet filed for their energy tax benefits.

Red Wine Benefits

Red wine and certain polyphenolic substances in red wine such as resveratrol may help prevent heart and arterial disease. According to the "French Paradox," moderate red wine consumption benefits the heart, increases levels of "good" cholesterol, protects against artery damage and fights free radicals.

farm sale costa rica

Shrimp is a type of seafood, particularly shellfish is an elongated body with 10 legs, looking very similar to shrimps and prawns, with a shell somewhat weaker than them.
Size between 5 and 8 cm, but there are a variety of smaller size, those who take the name of shrimps.

The seafood can be consumed fresh throughout the year, although its market price is cheaper during the winter.

coach purses

When the door of happiness closes, another opens, but often times we look so long at the closed door that we don't see the one which has been opened for us.


love your work! actually saw it at quirk gallery in richmond, va just yesterday!

Office 2010

You are great! But I still did good! Hey!

Car Lease Los Angeles

I've never heard of the National Business Review, sounds official but is it a reliable and reputable source? If so this would be wonderful.

Rug Cleaning Los Angeles

Your article title made me laugh for a second, I would hope that global warming is not longer a concern...but who knows...

Therapist New York

Hmm...water vapour is a damper for warming? It took us this long to figure this out?

Tours in Venice

I don't know how so many years of research could supposedly be wrong, or obsolete now. I know things like this aren't always certain but with all of our scientist and technology can't we find out what's really going on?

Sofa Glendale

Fascinating! I have actually hear of global warming being canceled. Apparently it is normal for the earth to increase and decrease in temperature, we just happen to notice it when the temperatures has started to rise.

dave chambers

see if you or anyone else has ever seen a better energy saving idea than buzz-off that never got picked up because there was not enough profit - take the idea by all means the timer doesnt enen need tolerances so the cheapest electolytic capacitor will work fine:there are other thing at unwanted starlight but buzz-off is proven:http://unwantedstarlight.blogspot.com/

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But, they are related. I still cannot get why governments avoid to spend money on this issue.

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